To go back to shampoo in plastic bottles from shampoo bars (hairdresser POVs welcome)(97 Posts)
I am keen to reduce single use plastics in our house. I made liquid soap after my second attempt (the first attempt resulted in a very large bar of soap the size of an ice cream tub 😂) so am saving on plastic/purchase of replacements. I've gone to bar soap for the shower but have tried several shampoo bars that basically just feel either that I'm washing my hair with soap or something not lathery/ strong enough to clean it at all! Solid conditioner also want much cop either. I'm assuming this will improve as people try and develop it. My experience of people's comments about shampoo is that it shouldn't have salts in it or other stuff that's bad for your hair. I'm wondering if Cash and carry type places do bigger bottles of shampoo. I know it's still plastic but still wonder if it's less plastic per 100ml etc. I was buying the biggest bottles of Pantene and was quite happy with it as a shampoo.
My hairdresser would do refills on shampoo from the salon but I didn't like the last one I bought. I also would want shampoo for the whole family.
Comments and ideas/what do you do?
Are there any no waste shops in your area where you could refill your own bottles?
I don’t think you are BU.
I buy ‘salon sized’ shampoo & conditioner, 1 litre bottles, online from FeelUnique, LookFantastic, HQhair etc. It’s much cheaper per ml than than the same shampoo in smaller 250ml bottles. I don’t buy from Amazon or eBay because a lot of counterfeit product passes through there.
If you don’t want to buy online, supermarkets do the massive bottles of tresemme. I think they’re either 750ml or 1l.
If you could find a page on Facebook called Mauchit they have fantastic shampoo and conditioner bars they could send. I luffs them. Hair shines and sift and feels clean. Let me know if you do and what you think.
I buy 1 litre sulphate free shampoo from tkmaxx usually around 8 or £10
I’ve just gone over to bars from bottles - I was a bit dubious as my hair can be quite temperamental but so far I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I’m using the ones made by the Solid Bar Company because they don’t use soap based surfactants - a lot of other companies seemed to suggest that I would need to use a vinegar rinse because I live in a hard water area (to counteract the alkalinity and remove residue) which was far too much of a faff for me. The shampoo doesn’t lather massive amounts but my hair always feels clean and soft afterwards (I use the conditioner too) and looks as it did when I was using liquid shampoo. Having said that, if you can’t get on with it I think its fine to look for a pragmatic solution - maybe check out the Faith in Nature range as I know they do 5 litre refills though I’ve not tried them myself
I get mine off ebay...they are good. Also found a great conditioner at long last on ebay.
Like a pp, we have a shop in our town where we can refill shampoo and conditioner. I’ve used the same bottles for over a year now.
I use Lush shampoo bars, good god they lather even though I've got the one with least amount of sulfates and things (coloured hair. It's called Jason and the Argon Oil).
Could it be your water that causes them to not lather?
Soho soap company does great bar soap. Lathers up beautifully. Not so keen on the conditioner, takes lots of rubbing to get enough but the result is great.
The bars made by Sarandipity Soap Co are amazing. I wouldn’t go back to regular shampoo
NoWebbedFeet I went to the solid bar company web site, loved all their scientific spiel (which I appreciate as a scientist) and then clicked on the bars...£18 per bar! Wow, just wow. And unfortunately, it's a no from me ☹️.
I use honey I shrunk my hair or something from lush. It’s really good.
I buy the massive bottles of Aveda, expensive but they last me well over six months!
The bars are really no good for me, hopefully they will get better.
I’m using the red bar of shampoo from lush, my hair looks better than it did when I used bottle shampoo. I rub the bar straight onto my hair and it lathers ok. I live in a hard water area. I want to make my own washing up liquid, do you know how? I googled it but gave up trying to find out.
Look in B & M, they sell most of the Tigi range of shampoo & conditioner in 1 litre pump bottles.
Are the any companies who produce shampoo in glass bottles?
I get either the Redken or Bedhead big salon bottles from TK Maxx - they last me about six months, so very little plastic. Then I turn them over and use them on canes on my allotment so that I don't have someone's eye out :-)
Huge bottles of Tresemme are £5. I love Head & Shoulders 2in1 apple. I buy a huge bottle and use a tiny amount as it lathers really easily and genuinely leaves your hair soft so no need for conditioner on top (saving more plastic.)
I can't use bar shampoo all the time and the conditioners are useless. I think lush refill their plastic bottles so I'm thinking of trying their liquid shampoo.
You can get Faith In Nature refills from some health food shops, there’s a list on their website. You can also buy the 5l bottles direct if you want.
Faith in Nature shampoos and conditioners can usually be bought as refills.
I am in the same position - have happily swapped shower gel for soap, but have not been able to find a shampoo bar I can get on with. I will check out some of the recommendations on here though. I figure if you're doing whatever you feel able to, it's still better than nothing.
tresemme big bottle lasts 6 months and lathers very well
If you get the chance to look into traditional hair care in cultures from places like Iran, Morocco they use some products which although don’t lather as a standard shampoo they clean hair (and skin) and condition at the same time. It’s one of those things at the back of my mind I think I should find out more about one day. I think something called Ghassoul and Katira (not sure of spelling) are a couple I remember off the top of my head. Traditional Indian hair care uses a lot of powders and solids but I have no idea what they are and some products can alter light hair colour so you have to be careful.
Iceland is really hot on things like this (‘natural’, zero waste beauty and personal care) but their products are not cheap locally or when exported.
Ethique shampoo and conditioner bars have just launched in Holland and Barrett. They are amazing..
Neals Yard do (expensive) glass bottles - I know because I smashed one in the bath once.
Just had a google and Wearth London look worth checking. Some refillable options where the refills come in a biodegradable pouch.
I thought you were going to say because of the hassle. I like lush but a faff with the tin etc etc
I buy faith in nature now.
I'm a big fan of solids shampoo. Didn't get on with the conditioner though.
But by swapping bottles of shampoo and shower gel, I've cut shower bottles by two thirds.
Not unreasonable OP. I was so excited when I discovered Lush shampoo bars, my hair was amazing, but they made my hands so dry and scaly that I had to stop.
I now get huge bottles of shampoo from TKMaxx and my hands are normal again!
Bodyshop recycle their bottles and tubs now - if you take five empty ones in you get a £5 voucher back. They have some lovely shampoos (the green tea one is awesome!).
Same here - trying to go plastic free and using my first shampoo bar. I think I got it from the Soapnut Company but it left such a sticky residue despite loads of vinegar rinse I've given up. I have curly hair so was already using non sulphate shampoo, but after 3 washes with bar I feared I would ended up with dreadlocks. I bought a Lush one too, but now I'm thinking of getting myself down to Tkmaxx for these big bottles everyone is mentioning.
A very simple way to help the environment is "just use half". It could be shampoo, detergent, hair conditioner, etc. I started doing this to reduce the amount of pollutants I was responsible for releasing into the environment. Simply use less of whatever and see if it does an adequate job. If not use a little more until you find what works for you. It will amaze you to find that you have been using far more than you need. Try diluting things like shampoo hand wash and detergent. It will go much further. When washing the floor do you need to use cleanser every time or would clean water be adequate? Do you really need to clean the bath with chemicals every single time it's used? Could that t-shirt be worn again without being washed?
It becomes a state of mind and you produce less waste plus save money and time too.
Second the massive bottles of Aveda, great value for money and it is a company with sustainability at its heart. Lush shampoo bars are great, conditioner not so much.
I've heard that Lamazuna is good.
But tbh, there's so much single use plastic to cut down on before getting to shampoo bottles. If all you use is shampoo bottles, and they get recycled, you're doing pretty amazingly.
You can buy the 5litre salon quality shampoos from Amazon or ebay now.without needing to go to the wholesalers. I do this and fill up a smaller glass bottle for the bathroom.
Oh Body Shop did that when I was a teen. Good to know theyve started again.
Honestly OP pantene is so cheap and full of sulfates it foams up so easily so you’ll be used to that, the solids won’t match up.
I do salon size bottles of l’oreal Professional, but I’ve recently started using Olaplex shampoo and conditioner - small bottles but you only need a tiny bit.
Yep massive bottles from tk maxx here too, have been pleased with them. I plan to take them to be refilled with Faith in nature once they are empty. Those who use Faith in Nature already, how do you find it?
I buy 1 litre sulphate free shampoo from tkmaxx usually around 8 or £10
I find a litre bottle lasts me 18 months plus now I have installed a water softener.
I don’t think there are any brands that use glass bottles for shampoo as they would probs break in the shower if it got too hot?!
I’ve been using a newish one from We Are Paradoxx my friend got for me that’s in aluminium and I think they are bringing out refills or a packaging return scheme like lush. And it’s cruelty free, vegan and pretty much plastic free. Natural ingredients too without sulphates for those that look for that?
I love the shampoo but their conditioner is UNREAL
It’s not the cheapest but also not as expensive as other brands, and 100% worth it as I’ve been getting so many compliments as it’s no where near as frizzy as before
I think you can pretty much buy it anywhere too which makes it a bit easier to try and do our bit. Boots, ASOS and Next too I think!
I've been using faith in nature lemon & tea tree shampoo for a while after I used to use a salon sulphate free shampoo. The faith in nature gives me squeaky clean hair whereas the salon one didn't seem to properly clean my scalp. I'm a convert to faith in nature shampoo now, will refill at a local-ish shop that offers it.
YANBU. I tried several shampoo bars, even tried doing a pre-rinse with bicarb and a post-rinse with apple cider vinegar but my hair felt awful. So sticky and gross. I gave up and went back to shampoo in bottles, but I refill at my local zero-waste store. Also, I have recently tried a Lush shampoo bar (montalbano) and it's AMAZING. It smells gorgeous and my hair feels just as clean as with bottle shampoo. It's more expensive than refilling a bottle though, so I think I'll keep it for holidays and stick to refilling my bottles for now.
I heard Lamazuna was good too but they aren’t, or not for me!
Freaking I find Faith in Nature fine, no complaints, miles better than any bar I’ve tried.
Rosa as far as I can see from the website it’s not really like Body Shop in the 90s when you could refill stuff, they are just recycling them, unfortunately.
Since I've gone curly girl, "just use half" has become an alien concept with conditioner. Just use half a bottle, maybe!
Thankfully, most of the suitable seem to come in massive bottles or tubs, already.
The only thing stopping that We Are Paradox conditioner from being curly girl is the Isopropyl Alcohol, which is incredibly drying. The price is something else. Goes back to the thread, the other week, about being easier to be green when you're well off.
The problem with glass bottles is they take a huge amount of energy compared to plastic to make, so they are not really eco friendly unless they are reused like milk bottles. I read this in the New Scientist.
The only shampoo bar that works for me is Beauty Kubes.
@PickAChew The problem with curly girl method is that the blanket list of ingredients to avoid doesn’t actually consider how the products are made. Most of the time isopropyl alcohol is used to actually blend the actual product itself and in such tiny amounts that it can’t dry hair especially with all the other ingredients which are more beneficial! Especially as the paradoxx one is so natural (95% my bottle says). I have curly hair and I have followed the curly girl method strictly in the past, but I have to say that when I have tested other products with some of the more cautious ingredients I haven’t had any issues and actually at the minute my curls are way less frizzy and so much more defined!! But I suppose it depends on your individual hair type and what you know works best 🤷♀️
I got samples of shampoo and conditioner bars from Cosy Cottage. The shampoo was great and I will buy some when my current stash of shampoos (bars and liquids) runs out. I've only used the conditioner once and I think I need a bit more practice with it before deciding on that one... could have been used error as it does say you don't need to use as much.
I go to my local zero waste shop to refill my bottles. If that's not an option, I think if you Google 'shampoo refill' you'll find a few brands that sell 5 liter refill containers.
Conchus Life is a small home made soap bar company and she does face wash and body wash too.
No sulphates or paraben or nasties in any of her bars, they lather well. She also sells hair rinses but offers recipes for home made hair rinses (v easy to do) and you don't need conditioner.
If you really can't get on with it then maybe get massive bottle, use half the amount of product you usually wpiod and do every other wash solid shampoo then liquid and your bottle will last 4 x as long.
Oh and Neals Yard do glass bottles.
I second beauty kubes- it took me a while to find the right bar but I love these!
Costco currently has the large duo packs of Bedhead on offer for about £10.50 Inc vat.
Yanbu. I tried a bar shampoo from lush (why does the shop smell so bad) and totally agree. Im sticking with shampoo that works and recycling the bottles
Another thing to consider is that a lot of mass market shampoos contain silicone which is what makes your hair look lovely and shiny cos its literally coating your hair with a fine layer of plastic. That is getting washed into the water, micro plastic pollution...
I was going to suggest Aveda as I think their bottles may be made of recycled materials to begin with. Expensive though.
As someone above mentioned - Neal's Yard do shampoo in glass bottles.
Otherwise, I have been using shampoo and not really bothering with conditioner. Depending on your hair type maybe you could use bar shampoo and then use conditioner once a week/every 10 days? My hair looked a bit wispy at the ends (but also needs a cut) but otherwise fine. I am also in a hard water area.
Oh and it might be worth looking at websites like love lula and Victoria Health for more eco-friendly options.
Nat6999 oh I wish I lived near a B&M. Northerner in the South now.. They are miles away.
Someone else said about so much more SUP before shampoo.. Yes you're right. I'm not a saint and haven't reached the point of eliminating everything else. Once you start trying it's awful just how many things come in it 🙄. Thanks for all suggestions. I don't feel as much of a failure at it. The Aveda is very good value but I'd want to try it before buying 5l.
Why are the Body shop not doing what they used to? They were ahead of their time in the 80s but seem to have dropped back. Their shop is always empty in our town..I wonder why?
*meant to say the Indola was the one that was very good value for 5 litres! Dunno how much Aveda is, haven't looked yet
I've been having this exact dilemma the last few weeks. I switched to bar shampoo, had a horrible time which got much better when I discovered the vinegar wash. I just feel like my hair isn't the same, I can have it down or in a ponytail and that's it. Too 'sticky' to try and plait. I was doing okay with it for a while but I'm now dreading washing my hair and I think I'll just buy large bottles and reduce the amount I use. Like a PP I've had no issues at all switching from shower gel but this I just can't hack (even though I've had compliments that my hair is looking lovely - it doesn't feel right!).
I'll have to focus on reducing plastic elsewhere for the time being. Feels a bit like failure
Just to add my voice to the chorus of those advising refills. If you fill up a big container when you go, you can decant into small, attractive bottles for the bathroom and you don't have to make repeat trips. The Faith in Nature stuff really smells like flowers, not chemicals.
Sorry, Klorane are plastic. I haven’t bought one for years!
You can buy your own 5L refill of Faith in nature shampoo. See link:
Admittedly it is a big cost upfront but it works out at £10/litre. I’ve just checked on the Superdrug website and Pantene works out at £7.50 per litre so it isn’t vastly different. I may start to do this.
I use a shampoo bar from Lush and it works brilliantly. Am also in a very hard water area.
I love the Lush shampoo bars, but the conditioner ones are rubbish. I don't get on with Faith In Nature at all - have to use loads more of it than I would with normal liquid shampoos and conditioners and it makes my scalp itch (and ds'). Hanging around for other shampoo bar recommendations...
@fivecupsoftea I think we use the same one , a clove scented one .
it is the only one that works for me.
I do not use conditioner , I never have so can not comment on them
I know they do shower gels, not sure about shampoos yet.
Off topic a bit but for plastic free oral care this company are great.
The mouth wash tablets seem a bit expensive at £8.90 but that is for 120 tablets and if you use two a day it will last three months which works out much cheaper than most brand name mouthwashes .
The tooth paste is good value to. both come in small glass jars .
All the packaging is card / paper.
Adding a link would help wouldn't it !
Ethique solid shampoo in heali kiwi and st Clements are amazing, I wasn't too keen on the conditioner though, the face wash and ginger scrub are also very good.
Pantene contains really high levels of silicone which is why your hair feels so shiny and soft after using it. Your ends will also have the illusion of looking healthier (less split) because they're glued together.
Try a lush shampoo bar or one of their bottles, as they recycle the packaging. I love their rehab shampoo and veganism conditioner as I have very greasy hair and find it works best. Popping in store on Monday if anyone can recommend a shampoo bar for greasy hair!
Side note: silicone is not plastic. It is an inert element naturally found in sand (silica).
However, it seems a group of chemicals are (erroneously) being called silicones. As far as I'm aware 'silicones' was never a chemical group in my degree, but this is the list that must have similar properties:
Dimethicone = not water soluble, helps detangle frizzy hair and create shine
– Cyclomethicone = not water soluble, hardest to remove from hair, creates shine may be also called Cyclopentasiloxane
– Amodimethicone = not water soluble, help detangling the hair
– Dimethiconol = not water soluble
– Phenyl Trimethicone = not water soluble, silicone-oil, helps dry hair look healthy
– Simethicone = not water soluble
– Cyclopentasiloxane = not water soluble, silicone-oil that will help the hair feel soft
– Dimethicone copolyol = water soluble
– Lauryl methicone copolyol = water soluble
– Polysiloxane = water soluble
These are complex compounds, none of which actually contain silicone itself.
I am reading this thread with interest since I have had to switch back to liquid shampoo because solid shampoo just didn't clean my hair properly. I tried different makes, they were all similar. I still use vinegar instead of conditioner, it leaves my hair much softer than any conditioner ever did!
I just tried a shampoo bar for the first time yesterday, I live in a hard water area. My hair feels really tacky, the upside is that if I tried to put a plait in it I think it would stay in, whereas normally my hair is so soft they fall out. It looks ok, just feels weird.
It was a Friendly Soap one that I bought in my local zero waste store.
I just got this one from ebay
I lathered it in my hands and then applied to my hair, and I did it twice. The first time it didn't lather that much as there was product on my hair but the second time it lathered up lovely. It seems ok so far - I used it for the first time yesterday.
Could you get your shampoo from Sally's if you really can't get on with bars?
The simplest thing might be to use whatever shampoo suits your hair, in the smallest possible quantity, and wash your hair a bit less often.
500 ml of shampoo lasts my family of 7 for several months. Now someone will say I’m minging...
After much experimentation I have concluded that only Lush shampoo bars work for my hair and there is not a solid conditioner out there that I can get on with. I order 5 litre bottles of conditioner from Faith in Nature. They also do shampoo. I am not a scientist, but they have a good company ethos in my opinion about putting the environment first.
I think an apple cider vinegar rinse is key when using a shampoo bar. I use a bar and rinse from conchus (yes the spelling is very annoying but the products are nice)
Try the Fragrant Mind shop conditioner bar on ebay...great stuff.
Quite alarming that someone with a chemistry degree believes that silicones are not a class of polymers! Silicon is an element, 14th in the periodic table. Commonly used in silicon chips. Silica is the oxide of silicon, found in minerals like quartz, it’s amorphous form is used in toothpaste, paint and lots of other places. Silicones are polymers, containing silicon, oxygen, carbon and hydrogen.
We have a Simple Human dispenser, I buy the biggest bottles of Tresemme (usually on offer for £2 or £3) and fill the dispenser. I found we are using less product than pouring it direct from the bottle but also means I can cut the bottles open and there's at least another couple of week's worth clinging inside.
Faith in nature ladies as lots have already mentioned. It's the buisness. Alot of health food shops provide a refill service for your bottles.
It is in plastic though the bottles are the widely recycled type. Most shampoo etc is in weird coloured plastic which isn't recyclable. Some of the formulas are biodegradable.
Added bonus. It's made in this country so argueably better than buying something that is zero waste and comes from NewZealand!! (which is what I discovered last week in Holland and Barrett.)
chemenger I bow to your superior knowledge and wisdom. I never actually said I had a chemistry degree, I just said as far as I was aware from my (Physiology with some foundational chemistry in the first year) degree 'silicones' were not a chemical group.
I am obviously wrong and stand corrected. Thank you
I also realize I incorrectly stated a list of chemicals didn't have silicone in them. I am sorry and embarrassed by my mistake. My degree was 26 years ago. Meh.
Thanks to other posters for the helpful comments on shampoo alternatives 😁
I bought one of those pebble shampoos you showed. It was ok but didn't last long which made it quite expensive per wash. That other shampoo you mention is very good value. I reckon if you can find a shampoo that suits your hair you're sorted with the massive bottles. However, it's almost as expensive to buy a smaller bottle of salon shampoo! Maybe I'll take the plunge and if it's no good, just get my boys to use it. It is super cheap per 100ml!
@Handbaghag Maybe they will give you a sample if you ask.
Alternatively, you can buy dog shampoo in 5l bottles, many groomers use dog shampoo. Scruffy chops rhubarking is my favourite, and I used it on my hair and it was fantastic.
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